U-M Mechanical Engineering research led by ME Professor Steve Skerlos hit the popular press again, featured on both NPR and Web MD. The research re-evaluates current EPA recommendations for drug disposal. The research team compared the overall impact of three disposal methods: flushing, trashing, and incineration. The results showed that flushing is by far the most harmful to the environment, allowing a high percentage of the drugs to enter the environment and also causing more air pollution than other methods. Surprisingly, take-back programs are roughly the same as appropriate trash disposal with respect to keeping drugs out of the environment, while leading to much higher emissions of other pollutants. The authors also note that trash programs have lower financial costs, higher convenience, and higher compliance rates.
To read the articles themselves, please visit the links below.
(Web MD) http://women.webmd.com/news/20120518/study-trash-old-unused-drugs?page=2